Digital Connectivity: Kelvin Mutuku
This interview was conducted by Averil Spencer, founder of Launch gURLs. Averil wears many hats at Launch gURLs from running the pilot to fundraising to being a mentor for our girls.
Launch gURLs has partnered with the Leo Project for the Girl Boss pilot. The Leo Project is a community-based organization that provides supportive services, creative outlets, and opportunities not traditionally available to vulnerable youth and adults in Nanyuki, Kenya. Kelvin Mutuku is the Leo Project’s IT manager and we interviewed him to explore access to technology and digital connectivity of youth (especially Girl Bosses) at the Leo Project.
What is your role at the Leo Project? Tell us about this role, the Leo Project, and the community you work with.
I am the IT manager at Leo Project. I handle all ICT related concerns while ensuring full digital access and connectivity at the resource center. On the onset of COVID-19 pandemic I developed an E-learning portal to ensure continued learning. Now we have so many community members using it to access remote learning.
What does technology and internet access look like in Nanyuki? Who has phones? Are they smartphones? If youth get online, how do they do it (what devices and where /how do they access the internet).
Nanyuki town is well connected technologically. Most community members have access to smartphones, especially the youth between 20- 28 years. On the other hand, older community members however use feature phones. However the outskirts of Nanyuki have lesser connectivity in terms of WIFI and digital devices.
When kids come to the Leo Project and use technology (computers, tablets, etc.) what do they do when connected to the internet – where do they go online? What do they enjoy the most?
We ensure that kids are supervised when using digital devices to access the internet at the project. They enjoy using them to scan QR codes and watch videos in their curriculum as this expounds on their class content. They also enjoy social media platforms like Facebook to connect to other Girl bosses around the world.
What changes have you seen in Girl Bosses as they access the online community, watch videos, explore and research online?
They are very keen to ask their Girl boss advisor on the genuinity of the different materials they come across online. They are also always very eager to use digital devices in their classes.
Why is digital proficiency important for all children? Is it especially important for girls?
In this era, it is crucial to equip ourselves with digital skills and especially children. For girls, they get to learn as early on how to maximize digital gains, boost their confidence in researching and explore their own paths of life.
Is there anything else we should know or that you would like to tell us?
Nothing much but to thank the Girl Boss program for prioritizing digital proficiency for girls in the program. It is very much in line with the core values and knowledge we hope to pass along to all other community members. Thank you!